Jains in Bihar are the followers of the Tirthankaras.
Vardhamana Mahavira, their last Tirthankara was born about the middle
of the sixth century B.C. at Kundagrama near Vaishali, about 27 miles
north of Patna, in Bihar. Vardhamana Mahavira renounced the world and
became an ascetic. He lived a life of extreme self-mortification under
a shala tree on the banks of the river, Rijupalika, where he achieved
the state called nirvana or Kaivalya. He was acclaimed as a Kevalin (supreme
omniscient), jina (conqueror), arhat (blessed one) and Tirthankara (ford-finder).
In a long wandering life of 42 years in north and south Bihar, he gathered
a considerable following of monks known as Nirgrathas, or men who discarded
all social bonds who after Mahavira's death became known as Jains.
The Jains believe God as such does not exist. A liberated
soul, that of a prophet or Jinas is god. Absolute truth comes only to
these periodic Redeemers. The universe-plants, animals and human
is a plurality of Jivas, all subject to the cosmic process of Karma
and rebirth. One can free oneself through austerity and penance. Mahavira
breathed his last at a place called Pavapuri near Patna. A large number
of Jain monks too died on the famous Parasnath,
a mountain take its name from the twenty-third Jain Tirthankara.